By James Manning
• ARIA’s Dan Rosen on how labels are adapting under COVID-19
The recorded music industry has been adapting to change ever since the first digital music files started to be shared online. Out of necessity it has adapted to the threat of streaming music as the revenues from major players like Apple Music, Spotify and YouTube now underpin the industry.
What at first looked like a threat that would cripple businesses has turned around to pull them back from the brink. In ARIA data released last week, streaming music revenues have grown from $11m for $445m. If the industry still relied on physical sales and digital downloads, revenues during the COVID-19 lockdown would have stopped to a dribble.
ARIA chief executive Dan Rosen (pictured) has overseen the sector as his music label members have grappled with change. Rosen has been everywhere in the past week (and we don’t just mean sightings in Sydney’s eastern suburbs where he runs along the roadside when he can escape from his home office) as he explains what the 2019 data indicates. Mediaweek spoke to him recently about change and how the music industry is surviving.
“Every industry is going to suffer from the crisis, including us,” Rosen told Mediaweek. “If you think about where we were at the beginning of the decade physical recorded music revenues accounted for 80%. We are now certainly less exposed to the physical market which is going to be significantly hampered by virtue of the fact a lot of stores are closed. We are trying to make that up by going to direct to consumer and encouraging music fans to buy from artists websites.
“There is no doubt we are in a better position now to rise out this than we would have been 10 years ago. That is why it was so important we fought so hard over the last decade to protect intellectual property online and to create the new business models than can work.”
Despite a perception that streaming increased as soon as the lockdown commenced, Rosen said that was not the case. “We have been monitoring the past few weeks. It seems at the moment there hasn’t been a material impact so far. As peoples’ behaviour started to change streaming came off a little bit. Particularly in things like the morning and afternoon commute and for peoples’ gym sessions. That has been consistent with other markets around the world. Audio visual streaming on the other hand has gone up – YouTube has gone up. More recently that has started to stabilise, but it’s probably too early to tell what the trend might be. We haven’t seen any material change to streaming subscriptions as yet which is the main driver of revenue.”
As to COVID-19 industry closures hastening the death of CDs completely, Rosen mentioned some direct to consumer success. “Some Australian bands have been running good campaigns over the past few weeks. However the vast majority of the business is now digital.”
ARIA noted last week that Apple, Spotify and YouTube are the biggest players when it comes to generate streaming revenues. “Amazon is starting to make some inroads,” added Rosen. “We probably expected it to be a bit further along from where it is at the moment. It is trending in the right direction and it has become a very major player in the US and the UK. It hasn’t got to that level here…yet. From an industry perspective you want as many major players as you can get investing in the market, securing competition between strong companies.”
As to the challenge facing the ARIA members aside from COVID-19 pressures, Rosen said: “The biggest issue for this decade is how does local content thrive in a global content world. That is not a challenge unique to music, it is a theme that all our creative and content sectors are grappling with at the moment – television, film, publishing. We are dominated by four or five big global platforms and we need to be able to invest in local content yet have it thrive on those global platforms. We are always examining how to export world class content that can compete on the global stage. We are now competing against the history of recorded music every day.
“That’s why the Tones and I story from last year was so great. For an artist to go from literally busking on the streets to having the #1 song in about 20 countries shows that when you get it tight, how quickly you can create global stars out of Australia.”
Regarding the COVID-19 industry closures, Rosen said: “It has been a massive challenge and everyone is hunkering down and trying to work out how they can really quickly adapt to the changed circumstances. Everyone in our industry was planning for a sixth year of growth and probably for the first time in 20 years taking a breath with a sigh of relief.
“But that is not to be. However the industry is certainly battle-hardened and used to dealing with disruption. This is a time of challenge for businesses and we are making sure the people who work in our industry – artists, crews etc – are feeling supported both mentally and professionally to work through this. I was very pleased we were able to work with the government to secure $10m for Support Act.
“We have also been working with streaming services about how we can get more support for Australian music and Australian artists during this period and we launched the Aussie Made campaign to encourage radio, television and streaming services to do what they can.”
All the ARIA members have set up their businesses to operate from home. What the industry wants is to keep the content pipeline going. “We want to make sure everyone is still investing in artists. It is a different world we are creating in, but the one thing we do know is that artists, regardless of the circumstances, want to be creating and we are seeing that with the number of artists performing from home on different platforms to connect with their fans.”
Although ARIA has yet to abandon the idea of an ARIA Awards event as per previous years, it would seem unlikely to go ahead as usual next November. Rosen: “We are monitoring the situation and doing different scenario planning working toward a November event. We are hoping for the best, but planning for the worst with our partners. We are hopeful by November we will be in a better position to celebrate the year that was. There is a lot that could change between now and then.”
• Radio Alive conference cancelled, replaced by online seminars
The 32nd annual Australian Commercial Radio Awards (ACRAs) will go ahead later this year but in a different format to the traditional ceremony as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
All awards shows in 2020 and possibly beyond will be impacted. The TV Week Logies have yet to reveal their altered format for 20200. Today in Mediaweek ARIA’s Dan Rosen talks about changes being planned for the ARIA Awards.
Event organiser and industry body Commercial Radio Australia said changes have to be made due to Government restrictions on interstate travel and event size. The event had been due to take place on the Gold Coast in October. CRA is investigating the best format for this year which may be as a virtual or online event.
Commercial Radio Australia has today revealed the entry date for the ACRAs has been extended to 30 June and judging will be undertaken remotely by panels of industry specialists.
The ACRAs is a major occasion on the Australian commercial radio industry’s calendar and is traditionally paired with the annual Radio Alive national conference. The conference will not proceed this year, however, in order to continue to communicate key industry information normally shared at the conference, CRA will host two webinars to release the results of its major research studies, the Infinite Dial in May and Share of Audio in August. Dates for the online seminars will be confirmed in the near future.
“The Australian Commercial Radio Awards and Radio Alive national conference are highly anticipated and well attended by commercial radio and media industry professionals from across the country. The decision to move the ACRAs from the usual live format attended by over 1000 people to a different format and to cancel the 2020 Radio Alive conference was a difficult one that was made in the context of the complex planning processes and long lead time needed for these very large events, as well as taking into account the wellbeing of attendees,” said Commercial Radio Australia chief executive officer Joan Warner.
“At the same time, it’s very important that we still come together as a community to acknowledge and celebrate the hard work of commercial radio station staff throughout the year, not only recently, but during the bushfires, floods and drought that impacted both regional and metropolitan Australians. Radio teams are showing great resilience and continuing to keep Australians connected, informed and entertained during the current crisis.”
Celebrating excellence in commercial radio broadcasting across entertainment, news, talk and sport, the ACRAs cover metropolitan, provincial and country categories with entries coming from 260 metropolitan and regional commercial radio stations across Australia.
2019’s ACRA winners included WSFM breakfast hosts Brendan Jones and Amanda Keller, who took home Best On-Air Team (FM), 2GB drive time host Ben Fordham who was named Best Talk Presenter and 2GB’s Erin Molan & Natalie Peters, who were awarded Best On-Air Team (AM). Broadcasting legend Doug Mulray was inducted into the ACRAs Hall of Fame at last year’s event.
More details on the 2020 ACRAs and webinars will be confirmed in the coming weeks. Information on how to enter the 32nd annual Australian Commercial Radio Awards can be found at www.acras.com.au.
Australian Reader’s Digest magazine has released is annual list of Australia’s Most Trusted Brands for 2020. The results come in the May edition of the magazine out this week.
The editors said that in 2020, trust has never been more important – and many livelihoods are currently on the line – as organisations look at new ways to maintain all-important relationships and hard-earned reputations.
The COVID-19 crisis is forcing change, and the 21st annual list of Australia’s Most Trusted Brands identifies those consumers have faith in and the new ways they’re doing things.
The independently conducted survey has polled a cross-section of more than 3,000 people, to name the most-trusted brands across more than 70 leading consumer categories.
The Key Findings
Band-Aid is Australia’s overall most trusted brand
Vegemite is Australia’s ‘Most Iconic’ brand
Guide Dogs is Australia’s most trusted charity
Doctors are Australia’s most trusted professionals
“While COVID-19 has certainly changed the marketplace, and the way we go about being consumers, other things remain the same when it comes to our relationships with brands,” notes Australian Reader’s Digest editor-in-chief Louise Waterson.
“For the brands themselves, trust matters when it comes to weathering a crisis, and ultimately trust is built on the traditional foundations of quality, consistency, honesty and delivering on your promise.
“In terms of this current situation, with this pandemic, that also means getting proactive and reaching out to your customers like never before. It’s very much about maintaining a relationship with that particular individual.”
TRUST & THE COVID-19 FACTOR
It is a climate in which brands are playing an important role in supporting customers with concerns, advising and reassuring them, in many cases referring them on for further assistance.
Trusted brands are easing the worry felt by their customers, using clear and emotive language like: ‘We understand’; ‘Sorry about the wait’; and most importantly ‘What can we do to help?’
It is an independently commissioned poll, with the results appearing exclusively in Australian Reader’s Digest. Leading market research organisation Catalyst Research surveyed a representative sample of more than 3,000 Australians, to identify the brands we trust the most.
The survey reveals the brands, products and services people believe in across more than 70 categories. From chocolate (Cadbury) to moisturiser (Nivea), from lawnmowers (Victa) to pain relief (Panadol), trust is a key ingredient to success.
By Trent Thomas
With cinemas across the country still shut down, Mediaweek is using this time to take a look at the historical box office in Australia. This week we will be examining the top opening week totals in Australian cinematic history.
The top five is very similar to last week’s top five opening weekend rankings with only one difference with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 replacing Star Wars: The Last Jedi which finished 6th in the rankings. This difference also means that it is not a Disney shutout like the top opening weekend rankings were with Harry Potter coming from Warner Bros. which released the film in 2011.
Box Office: Top opening weekends of all time
Another interesting note about this ranking which it shares with last weeks opening weekend ranking is the absence of the #1 film all-time film at the Australian box office Avatar which made $115.78m.
Disney’s 10-year Marvel project culminated in Avengers: Endgame which went on to make a total of $84.17m. The film made $1.7 billion at the international box office, and was just as strong in Australia with the film comfortably moving past several box office records in its first week of release:
• Highest opening day in cinema industry history
• Highest ever individual Wednesday / Thursday / Friday / Saturday / Sunday gross in Industry history
• Highest ever 5 day opening weekend (Weds-Sun) – beating Avengers: Infinity War
• Highest ever 4-day weekend (Thurs-Sun) – beating Star Wars: The Force Awakens
• Highest ever pre-sale total
• Highest ever opening screen count
• Highest & second highest single days of total business in industry history (Wednesday $11.46m & Thursday $11.26m)– beating Anzac Day 2018 $11.25m
The return of Star Wars after a 12-year absence from theatres saw the film become the highest-grossing entry of the franchise. The movie was the start of the first sequel trilogy to the original three films and was the first feature film since the 2003 prequel Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. The flick went on to spawn two other top 10 films on this list for opening week, weekend, and total box office. When the movie was released in 2015 it opened on the highest number of screens ever (941), and set a new record for the biggest opening day ever, the biggest opening weekend ever, and went on to make $94.01m.
After an Anzac Day premiere that made $8.7m on 871 screens the film achieved the third-biggest opening day ever in Australia. The film was the highest-grossing Marvel movie at the time before being overtaken by its sequel the next year. The film went on to make a total of $62.01m.
The final film in the Harry Potter franchise and the only non-Disney film in the top five is also the oldest film in the rankings following a 2011 release. The film also had the #6 biggest opening weekend with $18.36m and ended up making $31.26m.
The remake of the 1994 classic surpassed the $20.10m made by the original in one weekend and also eventually passed the inflation-adjusted total of $37.49m. The film opened on 930 screens, was also the #5 biggest opening weekend in Australian history with $20.53m, and went on to make $64.04m.
By James Manning
• Lego Master’s make and shake: Ratings withstand stability test
• Sam Neill pulls a crowd as Australian Story visits Clyde in Otago
Monday news highlights
Seven News 1,272,000/1.204,000
Nine News 1,129,000/1,078,000
ABC News 931,000
A Current Affair 832,000
Four Corners 749,000
Media Watch 687,000
The Project 354,000/612,000
10 News 483,000/308,000
ABC News Breakfast 241,000
The Latest 216,000
SBS World News 213,000
Nine News Late 158,000
Nine: Just two episodes of Lego Masters this week with Nine managing its schedule to show just enough that should win it the week. (9 episodes over 3 weeks last year.) Immunity from the next elimination was on offer in a fascinating stability challenge. Host Hamish Blake explained it was all about make and shake. Teams had to build a tower that would then withstand the show’s shaking machine which delivered various strength earthquake effects lasting 10 seconds. Blake claimed there was more BPM (bricks per minute) laid last night than on any other episode ever. Three teams managed to survive the quakes so it came down to aesthetics with Tim and Dannii winning with their giant popcorn holder. The episode did 1,097,000 after 1,053,000 on Monday last week.
Earlier in the night A Current Affair began with host Tracy Grimshaw talking with chief health officer Brendan Murphy. The episode did 832,000 after last week the program averaged 789,000.
The second and final episode of Informer 3838 was compelling viewing as it detailed how the lawyer turned on her criminal clients, including her partner. The episode did 574,000 after 631,000 last week. That first episode added 141,000 to 772,000 in the seven days after the original broadcast.
Seven: Home and Away started its week on 669,000 after an average of 657,000 last week.
The judges and the team delivered their verdicts on the new home of Laith and George with Khimmy and Rhi emerging the winners again for their work on the kitchen. Is Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen a disappointing judge? You wait for a pithy insight and he drawls “It’s…a 9” and then nothing further. The episode dropped to 564,000 after 640,000 on Sunday. Monday last week was on 559,000.
9-1-1 then was on 329,000 after 313,000 last week.
10: The Project continued its run above 600,000 after averages last week of 607,000 at 7pm and 397,000 at 6.30pm.
MasterChef had a live challenge in front of a screaming audience in an event space at the Melbourne Showgrounds. The challenge was a cracker, but it was almost overshadowed by the over-excited crowd and some of the contestants who got carried away too. It was in stark contrast to the episodes so far which, thankfully, have lacked some of the theatrics that the former judges brought to the format. Tessa, Simon and Khanh were the winners of three challenges that helped sort out the contestants that will take part in tonight’s pressure test. The episode did 826,000, the smallest audience this season. Sam Neill in his vineyards might have attracted some of the foodies after 8pm.
A repeat episode of Hughesy, We Have A Problem then did 258,000.
ABC: The channel’s Monday share has been over 16% more often than not and for many weeks this year has often been the channel’s highest-rating evening for the week. Last night it was the appearance of Sam Neill on Australian Story which drew a crowd early in the evening. Several years ago episodes of Australian Story used to push close to 1m now and then, but it’s been a while. It happened last night though with Neill letting viewers see inside his world including his Two Paddocks Winery and the charming Otago village of Clyde. Neill even spoke about his relationship with ABC reporter and commentator Laura Tingle. The audience of 911,000 was the channel’s best for the night after the News.
7.30 was over 800,000 and then Four Corners was over 700,000 with Media Watch on 687,000. Q+A did 390,000.
SBS: The final episode of a two-part special The Queen Mother did 174,000.
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.0%||7TWO||3.5%||GO!||2.0%||10 Bold||3.6%||VICELAND||1.2%|
|ABC ME||0.4%||7mate||3.0%||GEM||2.3%||10 Peach||2.0%||Food Net||0.8%|
|9Rush||0.8%||SBS World Movies||0.7%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.2%||7TWO||4.6%||GO!||3.2%||WIN Bold||4.1%||VICELAND||1.1%|
|ABC ME||0.6%||7mate||4.0%||GEM||3.9%||WIN Peach||2.1%||Food Net||0.5%|
|ABC NEWS||1.4%||7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)||1.8%||9Life||2.1%||Sky News on WIN||1.8%||NITV||0.1%|
|MONDAY METRO ALL TV|
16-39 Top Five
18-49 Top Five
25-54 Top Five
Shares all people, 6pm-midnight, Overnight (Live and AsLive), Audience numbers FTA metro, Sub TV national
Source: OzTAM and Regional TAM 2018. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) without the prior written consent of OzTAM
A Financial Times reporter has been suspended after the Independent accused him of listening in on sensitive Zoom meetings held by its senior managers telling staff about salary cuts and furloughs, reports The Guardian’s Mark Sweney.
Mark Di Stefano, who joined the FT from BuzzFeed in January, has been accused of listening to the audio feed of video conference calls held by the Independent and its sister title the Evening Standard about responding to the financial impact of coronavirus.
In each case Di Stefano, a prolific tweeter with more than 100,000 followers, broke the news of the meetings on Twitter at the same time as staff were being informed.
A story on the measures being introduced by the Evening Standard, which is edited by the former chancellor George Osborne, was subsequently published by the FT. A summary of the cuts at the online-only Independent was published in the FT’s daily live blog.
The FT began investigating Di Stefano after the Independent contacted senior figures at the paper with its allegations.
The Independent editor, Christian Broughton, said: “We respect freedom of speech and understand the challenges of news gathering, but the Independent considers the presence of a third-party journalist in a staff briefing to be entirely inappropriate and an unwarranted intrusion into our employees’ privacy.
“Our spokesperson had a full statement prepared for the press. Any interested reporters only needed to call and ask.”
A single charge of attempted indecent assault has been dropped against actor Craig McLachlan, but a Melbourne magistrate has ruled he has a “case to answer” on 13 other accusations, reports ABC’s Danny Tran.
It comes after two other charges against McLachlan, 54, were dropped in March.
McLachlan, who has long maintained his innocence, is facing a contested hearing in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court over the allegations, which include that he rubbed his penis against a complainant and forced his tongue into her mouth.
The charge of attempted indecent assault was on Monday dropped during an administrative hearing, which was held to determine whether certain evidence was admissible.
The case will return to court in November.
The first explosive details of a bullying and harassment case filed against Sydney radio star, Ray Hadley, have been aired in court, including allegations he bullied his former panel operator Chris Bowen daily, over 20 years, reports The Australian’s Deborah Cornwall.
In a fiery exchange before the NSW District Court on Monday, Bowen’s barrister, Shaun McCarthy, said Hadley routinely called his client “little bald fat c..t” and subjected Bowen to “vile homophobic slurs” and made “disgraceful remarks about his loved one”.
Hadley’s barrister, Callan O’Neill responded, insisting the damages claim against his client for intentional infliction of mental harm suffered from a “lack of factual underpinning”.
McCarthy said there was “a serious concern” Hadley’s legal team was still pressing for the names of witnesses. Bowen, he said, held “genuine and reasonable concerns about those witnesses being intimidated” if they were identified before the hearing commenced.
The case has been listed for a directions hearing on 12 June.
Nova’s Red Room Live Stream is returning with Yungblud the next artist to hit Nova’s virtual stage on Friday 8 May.
Hosted by Tim Blackwell, the UK singer/songwriter/actor Yungblud will perform his blend of punk fury and popmelodies, including his new single Weird!, live for winners from his epic home set up. Listeners will also be treated to an intimate one-on-one fan Q & A.
Listeners can win their exclusive invitation to take part in Nova’s Red Room Live Stream with Yungblud by entering at novafm.com.au and listening to Nova’s night show.
With more than 50 million Australian streams and over two million Instagram followers, including in excess of 75,000 in Australia alone, Yungblud released his debut EP Yungblud in January 2018. His debut album 21st Century Liability followed in July and in October 2019 he launched his second album Underrated Youth. Yungblud’s latest single 11 Minutes, featuring Halsey and Travis Barker, has been certified platinum in Australia. With over six million Australian YouTube views, Yungblud also played sold out sideshows at Falls Festival last year.
Isolation is getting the better of many people and boredom is clearly setting in. With many stuck at home, more and more people are deciding to try their hand at what should clearly be left to the experts – “iso-haircuts”.
After Nova 919’s Adelaide breakfast hosts Ben Harvey and Liam Stapleton’s producer Wolf came into work Monday morning with a bleach blonde iso haircut, the hosts decided to give it a go.
Ben & Liam said: “We saw everyone getting iso haircuts and thought why don’t we get involved. The only difference was the listeners choose the haircuts and they didn’t hold back with their suggestions.”
After compiling listener’s suggestions on a spinning wheel, with inspiration that included the Joe Exotic, the Dusty Martin and the Peter Garrett, the duo each spun the wheel to decide their new “do”. Ben went first, spinning up a Seinfeld classic – “The George Costanza” – with Liam following with “The 2002 Ronaldo” inspired by the star soccer player’s World Cup look.
Ben & Liam took turns styling their co-hosts look, with the results shocking listeners, colleagues and their partners.
Ben & Liam explained: “Getting the haircut wasn’t scary. Explaining it to our girlfriends when we get home is the scary part.”
Liam played audio this morning on the show of how his partner reacted when he arrived home on Monday. After trying to convince her it wasn’t that bad, she said: “It looks !@#$ing awful.”
They have to keep the new looks for a few days too. They spun the wheel to decide how long you should keep the new styles. The boys spun 13 and 14 days – it’s going to be a long two weeks for their partners who have to look at the results.
Stan has released details of the new ten-episode romantic comedy series Love Life which will premiere 27 May in 4K exclusively on Stan – same day as the US.
Love Life, the first full-length scripted series to star Oscar nominee Anna Kendrick, is about the journey from first love to last love, and how the people we’re with along the way make us into who we are when we finally end up with someone forever.
The romantic comedy anthology series is from creator and co-showrunner Sam Boyd (In a Relationship) and is produced by Lionsgate Television and Feigco Entertainment. The series will follow a different protagonist’s quest for love each season, with each half-hour episode telling the story of one of their relationships. Anna Kendrick (Pitch Perfect, A Simple Favour) stars in the first season along with Zoë Chao (Downhill, Strangers), Peter Vack (Someone Great, The Bold Type), Sasha Compere (Miracle Workers, Uncorked), and Lesley Manville (Phantom Thread, Another Year).
Kendrick serves as an executive producer alongside Paul Feig (A Simple Favour, Bridesmaids) and Dan Magnante (Someone Great). Sam Boyd, who wrote the pilot and directs, also executive produces with co-showrunner and executive producer Bridget Bedard (Transparent and Ramy).
Next Sunday night Tom Gleisner will step into 10’s Como studio in South Yarra to begin filming the 8th season of Have You Been Paying Attention?
Aside from a small crew, including longtime Working Dog floor manager and unabashed loud-laugher Annie Maver, he’ll be alone. Production has had to incorporate social distancing measures both in front of and behind the cameras, reports TV Tonight.
“When we started approaching this season with the restrictions we thought, ‘What if we put perspex screens between each other, like cab drivers?’” Gleisner tells TV Tonight.
“Or we thought about having two people in the studio and then three remotely. But we sort of figured that’s a bit of an unfair advantage.”
This season begins with guests in lockdown answering questions from their own homes.
“We do pre-record, so if we have a moment where it really does go off the rails, or the NBN goes down, we can just pause and regroup.”
Joining Sam Pang and Ed Kavalee in the first episode are show favourites Kitty Flanagan, Marty Sheargold, and Urzila Carlson. Guests have already held lockdown rehearsals.
But there’s also an unexpected upside to the changes for the show which usually includes a guest quizmaster. Suddenly there’s a chance to include international guests on camera too.
“That’s the plan but don’t hold me to that. But we hope we can have some interesting guests from lockdown from the other side of the world,” he confirms.
Cricket Australia is expected to resist any moves by its television partners to secure markdowns on their next payments under the $1.18 billion broadcast deal, believing they should pay full freight if the summer goes ahead as planned despite the financial woes caused by COVID-19, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Chris Barrett.
As former CA chief executive Malcolm Speed on Monday weighed into cricket’s cash crisis, saying current boss Kevin Roberts had “stumbled” in explaining the situation, attention turned to the plight of the code’s two major broadcasters and the potentially disastrous impact of COVID-19 on the game.
Both Foxtel, majority owned by News Corp, and Seven West Media, owned by billionaire Kerry Stokes, were in strife before the virus forced the country into lockdown and their problems have since deepened.
Sources within CA indicate there is an expectation at Jolimont that broadcasters may claim they are not in a position to fully meet their contractual obligations this summer. Their next payments, due in September and worth a combined $100 million, are being relied upon by the governing body to help restore its finances. Roberts said its coffers would be depleted by August if staff were not stood down, cuts not negotiated with state associations and “creative solutions” not found with players.
Seven, which has an agreement worth $80m a year, tried unsuccessfully to offload Big Bash League rights to Network Ten to reduce debt.
Rugby Australia interim executive chairman Paul McLean has smoked the peace pipe with outgoing 10 chief Paul Anderson after he criticised the organisation’s handling of Raelene Castle‘s resignation, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Sam Phillips.
The Herald on Monday revealed McLean ignored a text message from Anderson last week, when the outgoing 10 boss had sought further information about Castle’s sacking.
McLean on Monday reached out to Anderson to apologise and briefly discuss the process the RA board is putting in place to find the right person to replace Castle.
“Paul and I spoke this afternoon and I was able to update him on the plans we are putting in place,” McLean said. “I apologised for inadvertently missing his message last Friday and we had a good conversation.”
A report tabled before the coronavirus pandemic crisis rocked cricket lays out a series of suggestions to resuscitate the Big Bash League as the administration faces the very real prospect that it may be the only source of revenue this summer.
The Australian’s Peter Lalor reports on details of the report compiled by former television sports chief David Barham, which was commissioned by Cricket Australia in the summer as broadcaster concerns grew about falling ratings and declining crowds.
Barham was credited as the man who took the BBL to the next level of popularity when he was at Channel 10. He is understood to have consulted widely and written a 50-plus page report full of suggestions to return the product to its glory days.
At its peak the BBL would regularly outrate the Australian Open tennis tournament and was a massive success for its broadcaster, who signed up a lucrative list of advertisers attracted by the competition’s demographics and popularity, but it has lost its gloss in recent seasons.
The report says cricket needs to remember that the BBL is a made-for-television product built on innovation and entertainment. It urges cricket chiefs to pay it more respect or it will further degrade one of its better assets.
One of Barham’s key calls is to free a window from the end of the Sydney Test to the end of January and somehow compel the big local stars to play for a franchise.
Warner, as an example, is not signed to a BBL team and has played over 120 matches in the IPL but just three in the BBL split between two franchises. Smith got to play a handful of games last year while Cummins opted to rest.